Thomas Ehretsmann is a French illustrator primarily focused on editorial projects like The New Yorker or Rolling Stones. His style falls somewhere between classical illustration and Norwegian painting; in 2009, he spent several months studying under Odd Nerdrum.
He primarily works in acrylic on paper, taking advantage of its versatile nature to achieve both thin watercolor-esque transparency and dense opaque passages. His works have been selected for London’s BP Portrait Award 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Ehretsmann was born in Mulhouse, France and studied decorative arts at Strasbourg’s School of Decorative Arts for over 10 years before embarking on his illustration career which has seen his work featured in publications such as New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Elle Magazine as well as various European and American books and journals.
He works in acrylic on paper, taking advantage of its versatility to produce both thin watercolor-like transparency and dense opaque passages. Much of his work involves portraiture; even those images which don’t directly depict someone convey an impression that a likeness was caught while creating them.
His paintings have been selected for the BP Portrait Award in London three times; Double Portrait won second prize. Additionally, he has been invited several times to Italy to conduct workshops on illustration and sketching from life.
Thomas Ehretsmann creates paintings that combine weariness, bewilderment, and tranquil nostalgia in their compositions. Working primarily in acrylic paints he constructs scenes which are both natural and unsettling; using chiaroscuro techniques for dramatic shadow effects to add further intrigue and drama in each composition.
Ehretsmann graduated from the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, France in 1998 and has enjoyed a successful career since. His illustrations have appeared in publications like New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Elle Magazine as well as European and American periodicals. Additionally, in 2009 he spent several months in Norway studying under internationally-acclaimed painter Odd Nerdrum.
He won second prize at the 2016 BP Portrait Award exhibition in London with his Double Portrait painting and was invited to Italy for workshops on illustration and sketching from life.
Achievement and Honors
Thomas Ehretsmann has won multiple awards and been featured in various European and American publications. After studying at Ecole des Arts Decoratifs de Strasbourg, Thomas began illustrating for European publishers such as L’Elle, Flammarion Delcourt Hachette. Additionally he frequently illustrates book covers and bande dessinee for various French and international magazines.
He is best known for his intricate and emotive paintings that depict people with expressions both sad and natural that draw viewers in emotionally.
His artwork primarily utilizes acrylic paint on paper, exploiting its flexibility to achieve both transparent and opaque passages. He has been selected several times for London’s BP Portrait Award and won second prize for Double Portrait in 2017. Additionally, he has conducted workshops about illustration and sketches from life in Italy.
Thomas Ehretsmann was raised in Thann, Alsace and completed his studies at Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg. Following graduation he launched his career as an illustrator, creating illustrations for numerous European and American magazines and books. Additionally he spent several months studying under painter Odd Nerdrum in Norway in 2009.
He works primarily in acrylics on paper, exploiting their versatility to achieve both watercolor-like transparency and thickly opaque passages. His works have been featured at both Galerie L’oeil du Prince in Paris and Galerie Brulee in Strasbourg; Richard Solomon represents him.
In 2017 he won second prize in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition with his painting Double Portrait depicting Caroline while pregnant, winning second prize by virtue of its refined and detailed technique which conveyed stillness, strength and serenity in its subject matter. Judges commented upon its excellence by noting its strong visual impact compared to its simplicity of execution.
Thomas Ehretsmann is an accomplished artist who has completed many projects over his long artistic career. His works have been published in both European and American publications as well as galleries across the country.
His paintings often exhibit a dark and mysterious atmosphere with an emphasis on shadows and night lights, often using acrylic paints for his art creation process – his style has even been likened to that of Edward Hopper.
Benjamin Sullivan and Antony Williams’ paintings depicting Caroline breastfeeding their daughter have recently earned them shortlist spots in this year’s BP Portrait Award, with all-female models selected as subjects – with one winner receiving a first prize worth PS30,000!